tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN January 9, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST
while we wait for the news conference, i want to bring in john king on the phone from trenton and here with me in washington wolf blitzer and gloria borger. john, what's the atmosphere there? i'm sorry, john is not available. wolf, would you encourage him to say? >> get all the bad news out and say it yourself. don't let enemies and investigators, law enforcement, political bring it out. if you know there's bad stuff that was done by some of your top aids as loyal as you feel to them, you have to come out right now and have to say, here's what i know. this is what happened. it's awful, i take responsibility, they worked for me. they didn't do the right thing, i didn't want this to happen, i feel awful. we're going to work and try to
fix this, mark sure it doesn't happen again, going to learn from lessons. if there's bad news that there was a cover up for example to close traffic lanes on the george washington bridge, he's got to bring that out. let him do the worst of it. i think that's the best advice i could give him. >> one of the reasons we probably didn't hear from christie yesterday and got the statement from him is because he was meeting probably, i would assume, with lawyers, with the staff he can talk to as opposed to staff that may have legal issues here and trying to fig you're out the answers to the questions that wolf is just talking about. one thing he's got to do is explain to people. if he did not know about this, why didn't he know? since this was a huge topic of conversation on september 9 and september 10 in his own state. one would also assume across the bridge in new york.
why he didn't get to the bottom of it? a couple of people have since retired. was he trying to cover it up with their retirement or did he actually know there was more to this story as has sense unravelled? he has to try and get the trust back of the public that after all just re-elected him and tell them this is not something i approved of even though people in my office were clearly doing hit thinking i would approve. it's the culture question that needs some addressing here. it goes to his brand of politics. >> we talk a lot about the different e-mails and text messages, the one from his deputy chief of staff saying time for traffic problems in fort lee a few weeks before. the callused response from his a appointee about the children not
getting to school. september 18, david wildstein, the first person to resign in the scandal, the high school friend of christie, appointed to the port authority. he towards the story from the wall street journal about the bridge scandal to christie's campaign manager. bill says it's fine, the mayor is an idiot though. wildstein said i had empty boxes ready to take to work today just in case. he is already in september talking about maybe being forced to resign. >> he packed them up didn't he? >> a few months later when it came public. >> i had the chance to talk to the mayor of fort lee. he's not an idiot. he's a very intelligent smart guy. he feels awful. a lot of his community was directly impacted by this decision to cause traffic jams.
>> john king is on the phone now. i'm glad we got through to you. what's the mood in trenton? how many mountain bro how many members are there? >> photographers, reporters. we're told the governor is running late. what's the mood? there's a great sense of anticipation as for questions you've been talking about. what will the governor say? how many will be fired? how will he explain his aids that he says lied to them? they said they had no involvement. there will be question, what did he know and when did he know it? if he had no personal involvement, what kind of leadership that people have in such trusted position thought
they should do. they didn't come to the governor and spell out their roles and deal with this earlier. as you know i've been discussing this morning, there's the offense if you will, why did they do this? there's always the cover up that gets you in more trouble. a big test for the governor. he came out of a second landslide win. he wants to help other republicans in 2014 and in 2016 a potential candidate for the nomination. he knows what he's got on his hands. what he says is critical to his future. >> john, we can actually see you. the camera is on you if you want to look behind you to your left, you can do the broadcast not just by phone. >> i can't stand up. the governor is going to walk in in one minute, jake. >> i appreciate that always a biding by the rules, john king.
>> the idea of his management style, governor christie went to his aids when this became a story in december. they said no this was just a traffic study. then he said in his press conference, i believe on december 13, same day as the arapahoe high school shooting. we were going to do a story on it but ended up not because of the school shooting. he said all i can tell you i asked bill about the traffic study. bill left office in december as well. he will be one of the aids that misled him presumably according to what the governor said. who else do we think misled the governor? how many can he be misled by before there are questions about his leadership? all right. looks like they made john king hang up. this is the live television.
gloria, this is a big serious question. >> it is. about people he has around him. >> these are people close to him. these are not people down the food chain. deputy chief of staff, his campaign manager, people he trusted in high positions, people he promoted, people who worked with him closely everyday during the campaign. they let him go out there if he did not know and say things that made him now look foolish. if you're the governor of new jersey just re-elected and want to become president of the united states -- >> gloria, i'm going to cut you off. here's governor christie. >> i come out here to this office where i've been many times before. i come out here today to apologize to the people of new jersey. i apologize to the people of
fort lee, and i apologize to the members of the state legislator. i am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. there's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for their appropriate role of government and for the people that were trusted to serve. two pieces to what i want to talk about today. the first is, i believe that all the people who were affected by this conduct deserve this apology. that's why i'm giving it to them. i also need to apologize to them
for my failure as the governor of this state to understand the true nature of this problem sooner than i did. but i believe i have an understanding now of the true nature of the problem, and i've taken the following action as a result. this morning i terminated the employment of bridget kelly effective immediately. i terminated her employment because she lied to me. i brought my senior staff together about four weeks ago tomorrow, and i put to all of them one simple challenge. if there is any information that you know about the decision to close these lanes in fort lee,
you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff or chief council. i told them that i was going to go out in the press conference and if no one gave me information to the contrary, i was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter. over the course of the next hour, kevin and charlie interviewed each member of my senior staff, came back and reported to me they all reported there was no information other than what we already knew that had been testified to by senator bronony. they assured me they had no
information that would change my ability to be able to say that no one in response to question on my staff was involved in this matter. that was obviously a lie. and the e-mails that i saw for the first time yesterday morning when they were broken and i believe the record story, proved that was a lie. there's no justification for that behavior. there's no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government. as a result, i've terminated bridget's employment immediately this morning. second secondly i have and will
continue, started yesterday to once again have personal one on one discussions myself with the remaining members of my senior staff to determine if there's any other information that i do not know and need to know in order to take appropriate action. i'm not completed with the interviews yet, but when i am, if there is additional information that needs to be disclosed i will do so. if there's additional actions that need to be taken with my senior staff, i will do so. i will tell you though, it's been written a lot over the last couple of days about what a tight knit staff i have and how closely everyone works together. that is true. ever since the time i was u.s. attorney, i've engendered the sense and feeling among the people closest to me we're a
family and work together. we tell each other the truth, support each other when need to be supported. i am heartbroken that someone who i permitted to be in that circle of trust for the last five years betrayed my trust. i would never have come out here four or five weeks ago and made a joke about the lane closures had i ever had an inkling that inning on my staff would have been so stupid but to be involved and so deceitful as to just not disclose the information of their involvement to me when directly asked by their superior. those questions were not asked by the way just once. they were asked repeatedly.
so i take this action today because it's my job. i am responsible for what happened. i am sad to report to the people of new jersey that we fell short. we fell short of the expectations we've created over the last four years for the type of excellence in government they should expect from this office. i repeatedly said to them that while i promised them the best governor's office i could give them, i could never promise a perfect governor's office. so when i find imperfections and mistakes, those lies, my obligation as chief executive of this state is to act. as to bridget kelly, i acted today. secondly, i was disturbed by the
tone and behavior and attitude of callus indifference that was displayed in the e-mails by my former campaign manager bill. reading that, it made me lose my confidence in bill's judgment. you cannot have someone at the top of your political operation who you do not have confidence in. as a result, i've instructed bill to not place his name in nomination for state party chairman, and he will not be considered for state party chairman. and i've instructed him to withdraw his consultantcy with the republican governor
association. i would not place him at the head of my political operation because of lack of judgment shown in the e-mails that were revealed yesterday. that has also been communicated to bill last night. there's to doubt bill has been one of my closest advisors over the last five years. for that too, i am sad today to take this action. i also know that i have a job to do. it's the job i've asked people of new jersey to entrust me with. i can never allow personal feelings or long standing relationships to get in the way of doing my job the way it's appropriate to do it ch.
i don't want any of you to confuse what i'm saying this morning. ultimately i am responsible for what happens under my watch, good and bad. when mistakes are made, i have to take action to mediate them. i spent the day yesterday talking to folk. i know there was much discussion yesterday about what was i doing? let me tell everybody, i was blindsided yesterday morning. i was done with the workout yesterday morning and got a call from my communication director at 8:50-8:55 informing me of the
story that just broke on the website. that was the first time i knew about this, first time i had seen the documents revealed yesterday. so before i came out and spoke to all of you, i wanted to do the best i could to try to get to the bottom so when i came out i could see if action was necessary. in my mind there was no doubt action was necessary. i wanted to make sure i spoke to people that advised me so if they were aware of information that i had it before i acted. i couldn't get it all done yesterday. as i said, if there's more information i uncover, i'll act accordingly revealing it to
public and taking action for any other issues. i'll react to information coming from anywhere else given there's an investigation and legislative investigation. later today, i'm going to be going to fort lee i'm asked to meet with the mayor and apologize to him personally face to face and apologize to the people of fort lee in their town. i think they need to see me do that personally. i plan to do that later on today. people of those communities for four days were impacted in a completely callus and indifferent way. i'm going to go and apologize for that. let me conclude with this. this is not the tone that i've said over the last four years in this building. it's not the environment i've worked so hard to achieve.
we saw just a few months ago, and i've seen over the course of four years, democrats and republicans working together. not without argument -- government is never without argument, but ultimately coming to resolution on issues in bipartisan ways and running a campaign what was in fact a bipartisan campaign. i'm extraordinarily disappointed by this. this is the exception. it is not the rule of what's happened over the last four years in the administration. i've considered it over the last four years to be my job to be the governor of every new jersey independent or unaffiliated. i've worked with elected officials on both side of the aisle, ones that agree with and ones that i disagree with. political overtoned exhibited in
documents released yesterday and conduct by those people is not acceptable, but people all across the state i think understand that human beings are not perfect. mistakes are made. i believe what they expect of me as the chief executive of this state is when that information comes into my possession that i consider it and then act as swiftly as possible to remediate whatever ill occurred. that's what i've done today. actions have consequences. i'm living up to that right now. i'll say one last thing just so we're really clear. i had no knowledge or involvement in this issue in its planning or its execution. i am stunned by the stupidity
shown here regardless of what the facts ultimately uncover. this was handled in a callus and indifferent way, and it's not the the way the administration has conducted itself over the last four years and not the way it will conduct over the next four. i will do everything within my power to insure the people of new jersey that and i thank them for their willingness to consider my apology on behalf of this government. in the end, i have 65,000 people working for me everyday. i cannot know what each one of them is doing at every minute. that doesn't matter. i'm ultimately responsible for what they do. that's why i took this action. david. >> upon the extermination, what
other steps do you plan to show the people of new jersey and the country that you want to change the perception of what happened here, and will that conclude working cooperating with the investigations? >> i was led to believe by folks around me that there was no basis to this. so -- let's be fair, there have been times investigations around here led to nothing, had no basis. i was wrong. now having been proven wrong, of course we'll work cooperatively with the investigations, and i'm going through an examination right now. that's what i'm doing. i'm going through examination and talking to the individual people who work for me, not only
to discover if there's other information we need to find, but also to ask them how did this happen? how did this occur to us is this i think -- listen, as i said before, i've had a tight knit group of people i trust, people that weren't telling me the truth. i had no reason to believe they weren't telling me the truth. i'm a very loyal guy. i expect loyalty in return. lying to me is not an exhibition of loyalty. so, you know, i'm going to look into this personally. it's my responsibility, david. what steps we take after that, if the there are concrete steps beyond what i've done today, then we'll simply announce them and talk about them. if not, then i'll just say listen, i think we've gotten to the bottom of this and going to
move forward with a new team. i have a new team coming in as well who i'm trying to integrate now in the next few weeks. there will be a lot of action going on around here. >>. [ inaudible question ] >> on the other hand i have very heated discussions and arguments with people in my own party and on the other side of the aisle. i feel passionately about issues. i don't hide my emotions from people. i am not a focus group tested blow dried candidate or governor. that has always made some
people, as you know, uneasy. some people like that style, some don't. i've always said -- i think you asked a day after the election, are you willing to change your style in order to appeal to a broader audience? i think i said no. i am who i am. i am not a bully. what i will tell you is, the folks who have worked with me over a long period of time would, i believe, tell you that i'm tough. i've shown over four years in the tone we've set here that i'm willing to compromise and work with others. the campaign showed with all folks that came from the other side of the aisle to support us that if we weren't willing to have relationship with those folks it would have never happened that way. i don't believe that kelly, and i don't believe the body of work over the last four years displays that. now, in this instance, the language used and conduct
displayed in the e-mails is unacceptable to me. i will not tolerate it. but the best i can do is when i see stuff like that is to end it. i know that won't satisfy everybody. i'm not in the business of satisfying everybody. i'm in the business of satisfying people that elected me governor. michael. michael. >> you said you were going to individually interview all members of the governor's office -- >> the senior staff, yeah. >> are you going to personally interview? >> their role in the campaign was not the day-to-day operation of the campaign. bill was the chairman of the campaign and essentially involved in fundraising.
that was bill's main task. mike dealt with tv ads. the day-to-day operation of the campaign -- i've spoke tn to bo of them. >> angie. angie. guys, we don't work that way. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm smart enough now angie after this experience not go out and certify that. i don't have evidence before me as we speak that it went beyond this incident, but i can't tell you that i know that for sure as to every aspect of everything. now i have to be much more circumspect about that. prior to yesterday, i believed if i looked someone in the eye that i worked with and trusted
and asked them that i would get an honest answer. maybe that was naive. that was what i believed. now i'm going in digging and asking for questions. i can't make a warranty on that. i won't because i did that four weeks ago and ended up being wrong. [ inaudible question ] >> absolutely not. i knew nothing about this. no. i was told about we were doing a traffic study. i don't know the answer. it all matched up that it was a traffic study.
i never believed anyone would not tell me the truth about that at the time. regardless of all that, you know, it's clear now that in the minds of some people there were political overtones or political side deals on this. that's unacceptable. so i don't know. it appears there was one based on what i saw in the testimony, but regardless of whether there was or wasn't, there clearly were political overtones evidence in those e-mails and other messages that were never ever brought to my attention until yesterday. >> do you know why people would have a hard time believing that you didn't know about this?
what does that say about your ability? >> listen, there's this kind of reputation out there of me being a micro manager. i'm not. if you talk to my staff, what they would tell you is, i delegate enormous authority to my staff and enormous authority to my cabinet. i tell them come to me with policy decisions that need to be made, high level personnel decisions that need to be made. i do not manage in that micro way, first. secondly, there's no way anybody would think i know about everything that's going on, not only every agency of government at all times but also every independent authority new jersey has on it's own or by state with new york, pennsylvania and with delaware. so, what i can tell you is, if people find that hard to believe, i don't know what else to say but to tell them i had no knowledge of this.
the planning, execution or anything about it. i first found out about it after it was over. even then what i was told is that it was a traffic study. there was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday brought to my attention or anybody else's attention. i understand why people would ask that question and i understand your question completely. what i want to tell the people is even with all that being said, it's still my responsibility. i didn't know about it. it's my responsibility because i'm the governor. so i'm taking that responsibility and taking actions appropriate with executing the responsibility in accord with the information today. marcia. [ inaudible question ]
>> i've said many times when i was u.s. attorney, i hated when politicians stood behind the podium and said this is what the u.s. attorney should or shouldn't do. i'm not going to engage in that conduct at all. >> are there any other cases included in retribution with this campaign with other mayo mayors -- >> let me say this, clearly that's the tone of those e-mails. the thing -- the other part of this that shocks me is, i've said to you all many times before, mayor sokolich was never on my radar screen. he says on cnn last night he doesn't remember being asked for his endorsement. part of this, i never saw this as political retribution. i didn't think he did anything
to us. we pursued lots of endorsements during the campaign from democrats. we didn't receive most of them. we received 60 at the end of the day. we pursued hundreds. so i don't have any recollection at any time anybody in the campaign asking me to meet with mayor sokolich or call him which was the course used when we were attempting to get an endorsement. staff would work with the elected official first. when they thought the ball was on the tee, they'd call me in to have a phone call, meeting or breakfast to meet with the elected official to see if i could bring them over the line. i don't remember meeting mayor sokolich certainly not in that context. i'm sure i met him at some point in the county. until i saw his picture last night on telling vision, i
wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup. part of this is, the reason the retribution idea never came to my head because i never even knew we were pursuing his endorsement. no one came to me to try to get me to pursue the endorsement. >> now that you know it did happen -- >> of course john. of course. >> what questions are you asking yourself regardless of 65,000 employees, people you trusted and at least in one case went to their birthday party -- >> what was that last piece? >> you went to the birthday party of one of the staff you fired this morning. >> a few of them were there. >> do you think they thought this was what the boss wanted or
did this as a group and tried to cover it up and lie to you? >> i said earlier, john, i'm heartbroken about it. i'm disappointed. i don't think i've gotten to the angry stage yet, but i'm sure i'll get there. i'm just stunned. what does it make me ask about me? it makes me ask about me what did i do wrong to have these folks think it was okay to lie to me? there's a lot of soul searching that goes with this. when you're a leader of an organization, and i've had this happen before when i've had folks not tell me the truth about something -- not since i was governor but previous leadership situations -- you always wonder what you could do differently. believe me, john, i haven't had a lot of sleep the last two
nights. i've been doing a lot of soul searching. i'm sick over there. i've worked the last 12 years in public life developing a reputation for honesty and directness and blunt talk, one i think is well deserved, but you know when something like this happens, it's appropriate for you to question yourself. certainly, i am. i am soul searching on this. what i also wanted the people of new jersey to know is this is the exception not the rule. they've seen that over the last four years with the way i've worked and what i've done. i don't want to fall into the trap of saying this one incident happened therefore the one incident defines the whole because it does not. just like one employee's lie doesn't determine the character of all other employees around them. i don't want to overreact in that way either, john. if you're asking me over the last 48 hours or 36 hours if
i've done soul searching, i have. brian. >> the day he endorsed and said he would vote democrat, as many as ten appointments were cancelled suddenly all at once. how do you explain that in the context of what you now though about what some of your staff did? >> all i know is i don't know. that's the first answer i'll give you brian. what i'll also say is, the mayor has disagreements with a lot of people. there's going to be back and forths, meetings cancelled, public disagreements. the fact of the matter is we've continued to work with jersey city since he's been mayor. we've approved millions of for
projects in jersey city. the dep, deputy commissioner were meeting yesterday with his staff on blue acres issues to develop properties. we continue to work with him. certainly i will look into all those things. the fact is that what mayor phillip knows and when we agree, we'll work with him. when we disagree, we express those. he's suing the port authority at the moment. there's lots of back and forth and to and from that happens. i look into all this stuff. in the end, have i at times been angry with the mayor and disagreed with him? sure, i have. i also spoke at his swearing in. it goes up and down. sometimes it's strange and
sometimes expected ones. they move. i'm sure there's been movement in those relationships overtime, but not anything i can explain in specific. >> i heard you actually learned something new in the situation awareness. does the universal apology include the press core? >> sure. listen, most of you are citizens of new jersey. >> there's exceptions to that. >> i know they are. we don't need to point them out. of course it does. the fact is i came out unwittingly said something that was untrue. what you have seen with me over the last four years is i deal with you directly. i say exactly what i think. i think over time i have developed the reputation for telling the truth as i see it.
there could be disagreements. the truth is as i see it. would i include the press core? of course i would. many if not most are residents of the state and rely on the state government to be honest and trustworthy as well. in this instance, my government fell short. i take responsibility for that. that's why i'm apologizing. >> beth. >> i'm wondering what your staff said to you about why they lied to you. why would they do that? what was their explanation? >> i have not had conversation with bridget kelly since the e-mail came out. she was not given the opportunity to explain why she lied because it was obvious she had. i'm not interested in why at the time. i interviewed him yesterday. he was one of my interviews. i'm convinced he had absolutely
no knowledge of this and it was executed at the operational level and never brought to the attention of board of commissioners until the chairman wrote the e-mail -- executive director wrote thee mail to the board of commissioners. i sat and met with general sampson yesterday. i'm confident that he had no knowledge of this based upon our conversations. his review of his information. as he said yesterday he's angered by this and upset about it. i know he's going to cooperate with the oig investigation ongoing and lead port authority about what could be done in the future to stop such conduct. >> you said earlier, the question you were questioned about what you did wrong and you
were given the question what did i say or conduct myself in a way that would lead these folks to think it was okay to do this. have suspicions been through in the campaign to allow people to think it was okay to intimidate or retaliate against people? >> charlie, i haven't. i know who i am. i'm not that person. listen, it's easy for people to be characterized in public life based upon their personality. i have a very direct, blunt personality. i understand why some people then characterize that especially people that don't like you as bullying. it's not that. i'm more focused on why the truth wasn't told to me charlie. >> melissa.
>> when you go apologize to residents are you also going to apologize -- >> i just did. i said i'm sorry and i never would have made the joke if i knew the facts that had come forward to me today. >> what caused you to make the joke? >> i thought it was absurd and that we had nothing to do with it. obviously the e-mails are evidence of callus indifference to the result of that and that's what i've jooized for. i do apologi -- i've apologized for. i'm going to try to get a meeting with the major to apologize this afternoon. >> terry. >> at least one major -- >> who's that? i read that.
i didn't read it that way at all. that was a reference to a traffic study that candidly i know nothing about. and i recognize the e-mail said something about the governor supported or endorsed it. i have to believe that was the governor's office generically. as i stand here today, i don't know anything about the traffic study in stanfield. [ inaudible question ] >> absolutely not. terry we have built relationships over four years with folks trying to be helpful to every town we could be helpful with appropriately. so no nothing like that was ever done. >> i'm wondering if you're soul searching about the kind of people you hire or kind of
people that run your campaigns or kind of people that run the republican party that are willing to engage in political retribution and also call the mayor a racially insensitive man. >> yeah. certainly it was a mistake. the soul searching is complete on that part of it. it was a mistake. obviously. it was a mistake. listen, the fact is that mistakes were made. i'm responsible for those mistakes. i obviously try every chance i can to hire the very best people. i think the history of this administration shows we have hired outstanding people with great ethical standards who have done their jobs extraordinarily well. in a government of 65,000 people, there are times mistakes are made. mistakes were made and i remediated by actions i've
taken. i'm in a constant state of trying to figure out what's -- who are the best people for individual jobs to make me proud to have put them there. that's always going on. that's nothing new now. there are times when people that you put in decisions make mistakes disappoint you, you lose confidence in them or they lie to you. when you find that out, the test of leadership is, what do you do? i found this out at 8:50 yesterday morning. by 9:00 morning bridget kelly was fired. by 7:00 yesterday evening, bill was asked to leave my organization. that's pretty swift action for a day's work. that's exactly the way i'll continue to conduct myself if there's other information surrounding this that comes up or anything different that comes
up over the course of four years. [ inaudible question ] >> i can differentiate, phil, between people that have served me well and haven't. of course there's always going to be some after something like this where you've been lied to. there's going to be some confidence. there always will be. anybody that's not telling you the truth. if they say you're not going to second guess yourselves, they're just stupid. of course i've second guessed myself and gone through my head on some of this stuff. in the future, i'll try to be more careful.
here's what i know about human beings. i've hired a lot of them as an attorney and private law firm. sometimes despite the best interviews and best instincts, sometimes people are a mistake hire. sometimes they start off as a good hire and because of circumstances that happen in their life, they change. you can't prevent everything. but the best of leadership is, when you find it out, what do you do? and i'm saddened to have to do this. it's difficult personally to do. but it's my job, and i've taken an oath and i'm going to execute my job. josh -- [ inaudible question ]
now that you've been able to get a vendetta exercise against the new york side, after the port authority, after the revelations first -- >> a few things. first off, to my knowledge, and i think the mayor said this last night, i have no knowledge of him being asked for endorsement. he may have been, but he certainly was never asked by me. but he, i think, said last night on television that he doesn't recall ever being asked for endorsement. that's why this made no sense to me, josh, because why would you execute a vendetta against somebody who you didn't even give a chance to say no to? put aside the fact that you shouldn't do that at all. but if you never asked for endorsement, why are you mad he didn't give one.
back to the first point -- >> i don't. >> and, again, i don't know whether this was a traffic study that then morphed into a political vendetta or a political vendetta that morphed into a traffic study. i mean, i've seen in for legislature statistics and other things about the traffic study, so i know there's information there. i don't know what it is. maybe. we'll find out over time, but that's really in the minds of the people who were doing it. and that's what i based my decisions on at the time, was the testimony that people gave. lastly -- no, no, listen. i don't know exactly what you're referencing, but i think that you're talking about the foy memo that was leaked. is that what you're talking about? no. [ inaudible question ] >> it seemed that the traffic issue rose, complaints were
made, a story appeared in one of the newspapers, complaints were then logged internally over the stories and so while says -- i don't know, something along the lines of taking appropriate action against the new york side. >> yeah, i asked general sampson about the issue, i think, it's something to that effect. i don't remember exactly what it was. i asked general sampson about that yesterday. he said he has absolutely no idea what's being referred to. and that the only communication that he had at that time was his concern that he expressed to fellow commissioners about internal port authority documents being leaked. and that's just not appropriate for folks to be leaking internal documents. but he has no recollection from what he told me yesterday of any conversation like that with wildstein or baroni at all that references the gist of what you said in the e-mail. [ inaudible question ]
>> certainly not that i'm aware of or not out of the normal. i mean, let's remember something too. this is a bi-state agency with significant tension. all the time. now, there's no tension between governor cuomo and i. when issues rise to our level, we've always been able to resolve them. but there is tension and always has been between new york and new jersey on the allocation of resources at the port authority. so let me be clear, there is some battles over there that go on that have happened in every administration over the course of my memory, but you can't connect that to -- that's kind of the ongoing nature of the tension of that agency. and i think of most bi-state agencies. new york and new jersey, demands are even greater. nothing specific to that, josh. but i do want to make clear to
people that there is tension that goes on between the employees of these agencies. not every one of those issues of tension, thank goodness, are raised to my level and governor cuomo's level. but the good news for the people of new york and new jersey is that when those issues have been raised in the last three years, to my level and governor cuomo's level, we have always between the two of us amicably resolved it and been able to move on. sometimes that's the role governors have to play in that agency. >> governor? >> yeah. [ inaudible question ] >> okay. let me answer that and then i'll let you follow-up. i don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study. it's not my area of expertise.
so i wouldnt have a nose for that. i don't know what makes legitimate traffic study. i've been told that sometimes they're done live, sometimes they're done by computer model. i've heard that in the professionals who testified for the port authority. but you'd have to go to them to ask what a legitimate traffic study is. i wouldn't probably know a legitimate traffic study if i tripped over it. [ inaudible question ] >> no, it didn't. >> you said sometimes it raises to the level of governor -- [ inaudible ] the port authority board was asking too many questions -- >> not true. that's an old story. i've denied that story before and governor cuomo has denied it as well. it's not true. [ inaudible question ] >> listen, i have no idea.
but clearly, you know, there's a difference of opinion between senator baroni and pat foy about the existence of a traffic study. and there seem to me to be evidence that senator baroni showed of statistics and maps and other things about a traffic study. now, this can go back to the nuance of what really constitutes a traffic study or not. they may be arguing about some specifics and nuance that i'm not familiar with. but i certainly would not accuse pat foy of perjuring himself. i'm telling you what i was told and what we saw before the legislature. i certainly wouldn't accuse pat foy of perjuring himself in any way. >> you think everything he said was genuine and he's not in any way -- >> listen, guess what. after reading everything yesterday, i don't know. what i'm telling you he seems to display evidence of that at the
time, but the tone of the e-mails and text messages, all this stuff is something i'm not going to warrant because i don't know given some of this back and forth that went on between all of them. senator baroni's a very respectable guy. i've known him for a long time. he's served in this building for a long time. i have no reason to believe that he wasn't telling the truth when he made his testimony. but obviously from reading e-mails yesterday there was other stuff going on that i hadn't been informed about. bob -- [ inaudible question ] >> i never called him personally. he had a disagreement about a traffic study with pat foy. they had a disagreement. i didn't think bill was going to change his mind because pat expressed those concerns in earlier written documents that he -- someone, had put out to the press.
matt -- [ inaudible question ] >> i had no conversation with those yesterday. [ inaudible question ] >> i had earlier conversations with bill that i expressed at the time that bill told me he knew absolutely nothing about this. so, you know, and certainly the e-mails yesterday and e-mails involving bill well after the fa fact, but that's not the basis i made on my decision on bill. my decision on bill was based on the fact of the tone, tenor and conduct that was evidenced in those e-mails. i lost confidence in his judgment. and that's why i made the decision i made as to bill. brian.
[ inaudible question ] >> do you see as what happened here play into your decision making process over the next year or two? >> i have no idea what the decision making process would look like at this point. as i've said many times before. and i know that everybody in the political media and in the political chattering class wants to start the 2016 race. and universities can't help themselves but do polls that are meaningless three years away from election. and you guys can't help but put them on the air and talk about them. my job is to be governor of new jersey. and i'll say what i've said before, i am enormously flattered that folks would talk about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for president, but i am absolutely in nowhere near beginning that consideration process. i haven't even been sworn-in for my second term yet. i've got work to do here. and that's my focus.
my focus is on the people of new jersey and the job that they gave me. so all those considerations are, you know, the kind of hysteria that goes around this because everybody's in that world gets preoccupied with that job. i am not preoccupied with that job. i'm preoccupied with this one. and as you can tell i got plenty to do. so it's not like i got some spare time to spend. yes? because you roll your eyes and looking very disgruntled that i hadn't called on you yet. well, i've known brian longer than you. [ inaudible question ] >> can you elaborate on your feeling for his role in this in regard to him -- >> i think you've -- i'm sad. i'm sad. that's the predominant emotion i feel right now. is sa